Hanna Trudo is taking a well-deserved break, leaving her preview in my hands.
It’s a short work week in Washington, and while congressmen are home marching in parades and the 2020 candidates are fanned out in various early-primary states, President Trump is getting ready to throw the nation a birthday party where he is the guest of honor.
Trump’s decision to take control of the annual Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, immediately politicized an event whose only controversy in recent memory was when PBS decided to run footage of a previous, old fireworks show in 2017, because the actual celebration was unwatchable due to some particularly murky weather.
Not this year.
From the president’s decision to move the fireworks from the Reflecting Pool to West Potomac Park, to the choice of the Lincoln Memorial as the site of his “Salute to America” speech scheduled for around 6:30 Thursday evening, the White House has given its detractors much to complain about.
And they will. Several protests are planned for Thursday, including one by perma-demonstration group Code Pink, which reportedly received a permit to fly a 20-foot “Baby Trump” balloon for the occasion.
Did I mention there are actually two celebrations going on?
That’s right, on the opposite side of the Mall, the traditional D.C. celebration—“A Capitol Fourth,” staged from the west front of the Capitol Building and seen by PBS-watchers the world over—will still go on as planned.
A tweet pinned to the official Twitter page for the event notes the John Stamos-hosted event “remains unaffiliated with any other July 4th events around the country and in other locations in Washington, D.C.”
It sounds like a lot, and it will be—that’s why our own White House reporter Asawin Suebsaeng, @swin24, will be celebrating America’s birthday in the middle of the chaos and festivities all day.